One of the many lessons I have learned over my years of working in education, is to remember to bring the outside into the classroom.
There are lots of ways to do that, whether it be guest speakers, excursions, work experience, getting students to bring things in, all sorts! But an easy starting point is RSS feeds into your online classroom space.
I remember reading about RSS being old technology that was going out the window, but I have to say that news feeds are still incredibly powerful at helping connect what students are learning about with the real world. They invite conversations that link theory with practice, and all too often give real examples of what can go wrong.
If you are using Moodle, it is very easy to add an RSS feed to your course (turn editing on, add a block, remote RSS feeds).
If you haven’t done it before but have a relevant news provider for the industry relevant to your teaching, you are looking for and you need to get the URL for the feed.
The URL (that is the web address) for the RSS feed will start with “http://” and usually ends with “.xml”.
Blogs often have RSS output, and there might be an RSS feed on one of your favourite industry websites, so go looking and bring the outside world into your classroom.
I setup a testing community for the One Laptop Per Child project in 2009. I am a founding member of the Manaiakalani hackers, supporting an elearning and literacy strategy across lots of schools in the Tamaki region as part of the Tamaki Transformation Programme.
I am an advocate for Moodle and have been involved in organising the Moodlemoots in New Zealand, speaking and attending moots around the world.